Liverpool versus Arsenal is a tie that’s positively drenched in history, memories and goals. It’s just one of those fixtures, isn’t it? When you hear that these two teams are taking on each other, you sit up and take note of when it’s on and what time kick off is (it’s this Saturday at 5.30pm, by the way). Shocks, goals, controversy, goals, entertainment… Goals. This fixture has had it all down the years.
The two big-hitters have met a whopping 221 times before now. The Reds edge the Gunners on victories 84 to 78. In the Premier League era though, well, Arsenal have tasted more success in general. That’s fair to say. But when they play each other? It can go either way. Form goes out the window and it’s a straight shoot-out. Here are our five stand-out classic Liverpool Vs. Arsenal games from the Premier League vaults…
Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal (October 2003)
The Gunners pitched up to Anfield for this one without their talismanic skipper and midfield behemoth Patrick Vieira. Liverpool smelled blood from the off and Aussie wizard Harry Kewell put the hosts a goal up within quarter of an hour. Liverpool went on to boss the game, but missed key chances with two gilt-edged Michael Owen efforts not hitting the net.
As the game went on, Arsenal grew in confidence and Robert Pires banged in a free kick before the break. The wily soul patched Frenchman went on to score another in the second half to help the North Londoners win. This was only the beginning for Arsene Wenger’s men, though. 2003/04 was ‘The Invincibles’ season, of course…
Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool (April 2004)
The Invincibles season again, this time Arsenal’s victory was more convincing. Confidence was high around the place until a week or two before this game. They were on for the treble. But Claudio Ranieri’s Chelsea dumped them out of the Champions League and Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United beat them in the FA Cup final. So Arsenal had no choice but to concentrate on going unbeaten in the league. This 4-2 victory certainly helped. Again, Liverpool led, but their 2-1 advantage soon disappeared when club legend Thierry Henry helped himself to the match ball via two nice goals and one solo classic. Tres bien.
Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal (April 2009)
Andrei Arshavin. A mercurial figure, to say the least. How will he be remembered by the Emirates faithful in years to come? It’s a funny one, isn’t it? Technically he was a bit of a flop. Billed as a world beater, it never really happened for him, did it? But his place as somewhat of a Gunners cult figure was assured in Spring 2009 when he scored FOUR against Liverpool in a crazy game that saw a last-minute equaliser from Yossi Benayoun. Some game.
Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal (February 2014)
Don’t worry, Liverpool fans – it’s not all about Arsenal. You’ve had plenty of top results in this fixture too. The most comprehensive coming three years ago. The visitors drove up north as league leaders, but soon got shot back down to Earth with the most devastating twenty minutes in living football memory. Two goals from centre back Martin Skrtl, one from Raheem Sterling and another from Daniel Sturridge put the Reds 4-0 up within 20 minutes. Sterling’s second made it five, with only a consolatory Arteta penalty making things slightly less humiliating for the Gunners.
Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal (January 2016)
This six goal thriller from last year saw an unlikely hero in the shape of the diminutive little Welsh fella, Joe Allen. A stunningly out-of-character volley from him in the last minute rescued a point for Liverpool. The game looked to be going the way of Arsenal, with two goals for Ollie Giroud and one from Aaron Ramsey seemingly resigning Jurgen Klopp and his men to a pointless evening. But Roberto Firmino and the cleanest hit of Allen’s career clawed back the point.
Arsenal 3 – 4 Liverpool (August 2016)
We’re up to date now. This season saw perhaps the most memorable fixture in these two’s long rivalry, with an unforgettable opening day goalfest. The Emirates crowd cheered on Theo Walcott’s opener on the half hour mark and expected the win. But within the next thirty minutes of play, Liverpool found themselves 4-1 up. Two quick goals from the hosts saw a grandstand finish, but Arsenal couldn’t find that fourth goal and Liverpool left victorious after hanging on in nail-biting fashion. Real Custer’s Last Stand stuff.
Are we in for another classic on Saturday evening? Past form says so…